Kill 'em with kindness

On my mind

Kindness is an admirable trait, but as James Baldwin said:

“We can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist.”

What I’m noting

  • World Mental Health Day // Yesterday was World Mental Health Day, so I wanted to share some good reads and resources:

  • The Drinking Gourd // Check out this crowdfunding campaign for a new literary magazine written by and about Black Muslims. The editor-in-chief is Vanessa Taylor, one of my favorite writers and people to follow on Twitter.

  • Why We Need a Working-Class Media // American media is overwhelmingly made up of privileged people who could afford to go to journalism school, take low-paying or unpaid internships and jobs, and live in expensive cities where these outlets are headquartered. All of that inevitably creates a bias in newsrooms in how we approach our reporting. “The 2020 election will reverberate for another generation, not just another term. I wonder about the potential political effects if we had a media that served working-class Americans of this economic era, who currently feel typed but not seen. Just as black media did with “black” in the 1960s, I want a cultural and political space for the actual “working class.”

  • The Anti-Blackness of Showing Up Unprepared // Imagine you get assigned to interview Rihanna for a Vogue cover story? Naturally, you would just show up with zero questions in mind. Oh, you wouldn’t? Well that’s what journalist Abby Aguirre did and even admitted to in her article. Journalistically, that is a terrible decision, but this critique by Imani Bashir highlights why women of color journalists would never be able to get away with that carelessness and still get published.

  • Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Ethiopian Prime Minister // Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was award this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for brokering a peace deal with Eritrea after decades of conflict. Abiy Ahmed started his term in April 2018, so this prize seems like an early encouragement for him to follow through with his promises of reform and progress. I’m expecting my family’s WhatsApp group to go wild this weekend…

  • Life Hacks for Beating Writer’s Block // When you start cleaning your apartment instead of doing your work, you’re in trouble. Here’s how to beat procrastination.

  • Is Forever 21’s Demise the End of Fast Fashion // Forever 21 has filed for bankruptcy, which my mother will celebrate once I tell her. I shopped there as a teen and in college and she hated it because of the cheap quality and style. She would always ask, “But why do you want to be forever 21?” Hilarious. I still own a lot of F21 stuff in my closet which I’m not proud of not only because it’s terrible quality, but also it’s incredibly wasteful for the environment and has poor labor standards. Sadly, there are still a lot of similar companies out there (Fashion Nova, Shein etc), but at least the conversation is happening around how to shift towards supporting more sustainable models.

  • Jeff Bezos’s Master Plan // The Atlantic’s November cover story by Franklin Foer is all about understanding Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and what his master plan means for the rest of us. Also, check out Annie Lowrey’s argument for why we should cancel billionaires.

That’s it for me. I have next Thursday and Friday off, so I will likely not be sending out a newsletter or may send out a very short one, so giving you a heads up in case you notice.

To all the new subscribers, welcome! I’d love for you to send me what you’re reading/watching/listening to, and I may feature what you’re noting in an upcoming newsletter.

Have a good weekend!

— Nesima